Why I am not a Painter

Why I Am Not a Painter

by Frank O’ Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.

Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.

 

photo Rose Cook

 

 

Jane Hirschfield

 

Standing Deer

As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
the heart may grow cluttered.
And still the house will be emptied,
and still the heart.
As the thoughts of a person
in age sometimes grow sparer,
like a great cleanness come into a room,
the soul may grow sparer;
one sparrow song carves it completely.
And still the room is full,
and still the heart.
Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.
Filled and empty,
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.
Beloved, what can be, what was,
will be taken from us.
I have disappointed.
I am sorry. I knew no better.
A root seeks water.
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.
~ Jane Hirschfield
from The Lives of the Heart

Photograph Rose Cook

Fly free Ram Dass

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Imagine the time the particle you are
returns where it came from!
The family darling comes home.
Wine 
without being contained in cups,
is handed around.
A red glint appears in a granite outcrop,
and suddenly the whole cliff turns to ruby.
~ Rumi
________________________________________________________________________________________

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.”

Ram Dass, beloved spiritual teacher, psychedelic pioneer and perhaps one of the greatest cultural creative of our generation, whose book Be Here Now kindled the consciousness revolution of the sixties and launched the mindfulness movement, died this week. His legacy was one of Love.

 

One Breath by Lisa Kristine

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One Breath       Lisa Kristine

 

When my mother was dying

We made a agreement that when she passed

I would have to find her in new ways

 

She said,

 

You can find me in the wind

Or in the scent of a rose..

 

You will find me in the decisions you make…

 

Help each other

 

We are all children of the Gods

And we all share one language

And we all share one breath.

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

Announcing – ‘Sightings’ a new book of poems from Rose Cook

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a new, slim volume of poems: Sightings from Rose Cook

published by Grey Hen Press    £4 plus p&p    email info@greyhenpress.com

 

What some have said about the book:

Here are poems “bright as Lord Krishna’s hair’ that take great joy and delight in the wild-life of sea and shore. In an age of cynicism and depression over climate change these poems are a pure celebration of nature; to quote a line from her poem about building a stone wall, they are like “the heartings” that brim with “tumble and lustre”. A truly uplifting collection.

 Gill McEvoy (Rise pub Cinnamon Press)

 

There are poems here delightfully willing to see through the eyes of the creatures involved – whales, dogs, seals, fish, birds – while the human element is aware of itself as the inevitable record of vision.

And there are poems here which speak directly to the hidden in all of us; losses which remain on the inside brought to sight/light by Cook`s tender language and deft crafting.  

With the ‘white sheets’ on the washing line, Cook surrenders to sight, while that ‘single red shirt’ acts as a warning: Look out. And up, and everywhere, all the time, because it`s a good thing. Because it helps.

Sandra Tappenden (Speed pub Salt Modern Poets)

 

 

 

 

 

Present – W.S. Merwin

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Present

 

 

As they were leaving the garden

one of the angels bent down to them and whispered

 

I am to give you this

as you are leaving the garden

 

I do not know what it is

or what it is for

what you will do with it

 

you will not be able to keep it

but you will not be able

 

to keep anything

yet they both reached at once

 

for the present

and when their hands met

 

they laughed

 

 

~ W.S. Merwin

from  Garden Time

 

Photograph Rose Cook

Red Onion, Cherries, Boiling Potatoes, Milk by Jane Hirshfield

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Red Onion, Cherries, Boiling Potatoes, Milk-
by Jane Hirshfield
Here is a soul, accepting nothing.
Obstinate as a small child
refusing tapioca, peaches, toast.
The cheeks are streaked, but dry.
The mouth is firmly closed in both directions.
Ask, if you like,
if it is merely sulking, or holding out for better.
The soup grows cold in the question.
The ice cream pools in its dish.
Not this, is all it knows. Not this.
As certain cut flowers refuse to drink in the vase.
And the heart, from its great distance, watches, helpless.
(photograph Rose Cook)